Apple Car said to be at least five years away

Apple has small team of hardware engineers working on an actual vehicle, but Apple Car development is still in at an early stage, at least five years away, Bloomberg News reports, citing “people with knowledge of the efforts.”

Apple Car as per Richard Scarry
Apple Car as per Richard Scarry
Mark Gurman for Bloomberg:

The Cupertino, California-based technology giant has a small team of hardware engineers developing drive systems, vehicle interior and external car body designs with the goal of eventually shipping a vehicle… The company has also added more ex-Tesla Inc. executives to the project.

Some Apple engineers on the project believe the company could release a product in five to seven years if Apple goes ahead with its plans. The car is nowhere near production stage, the people said, though they did warn timelines could change… The majority of the team is currently either working from home or at the office for limited time, slowing the company’s ability to develop a full vehicle.

Reuters recently reported that Apple is aiming to begin producing a car as early as 2024… In 2019, Apple hired former Tesla engineering vice president Steve MacManus, but he initially worked on projects unrelated to the car. Now MacManus leads a development group with several employees focused on car interiors, fabrics, car testing and vehicle manufacturing, people with knowledge of the matter said. He reports to Doug Field, a former top Tesla vehicle engineer who runs the Apple car project day to day.

MacDailyNews Take: Of course it’s a vehicle, not software to be loaded into other company’s vehicles. That’s not how Steve Jobs designed Apple to work.

Apple is working on actual vehicles, not just some “vehicleOS” they’d license out to others (which was always a stupid proposition, as anyone who’s studied how Apple works for more than 3 minutes knows implicitly).MacDailyNews, August 28, 2018

I’ve always wanted to own and control the primary technology in everything we do.Steve Jobs, October 12, 2004

As we wrote back in March 2015: “When Apple enters markets, it’s because they can bring something(s) so unique to the table that significant disruption is inevitable.”

When Apple looks at what categories to enter, we ask these kinds of questions: What are the primary technologies behind this? What do we bring? Can we make a significant contribution to society with this? If we can’t, and if we can’t own the key technologies, we don’t do it. That philosophy comes directly from [Steve Jobs] and it still very much permeates the place. I hope that it always will.Apple CEO Tim Cook, March 18, 2015

10 Comments

  1. What benefit does Apple bring to a manufacturer that can already build a car?

    The success of such a car will be more about the manufacturer’s abilities then whatever Apple brings to the table. Cars don’t have billions of parts like a microchip does, so it won’t be like TSMC.
    Meanwhile Apple’s design trends in the last 20 years have always been about eliminating any moving parts – even at the expense of usability – in order to reduce manufacturing costs. That is not a helpful perspective for a car design.

  2. I’m curious about specific examples per Apple, “eliminating any moving parts – even at the expense of usability?”

    Designing with sparsity doesn’t necessarily translate into lessened functionality.

    1. Examples:
      – Expansion on Macs
      – Repairability on all devices.
      – “Pro” Laptops that need an adaptor to accept a memory stick.
      – “Pro” iPads with only one port, with a design that wears out with use. (Springs in device = bad.)
      – No way to add a cover to an iPad camera – so it is always watching you in the bedroom.
      – No front accessible ports on iMacs or Mac pro.
      – Removed fingerprint scanner / hardware button.
      – No internal hard disk drives anywhere, leading to a rat’s nest of USB cables. (SSD’s don’t cut it when you need 30 TB.)

      1. I asked specifically about YOUR comment re: the “removal of moving parts.”

        It sounds more like you don’t approve of Apple’s choice of features and functions presented to the market. It also seems like you would like a Dell for the alphabet of ports and accessories…the legacy string of stuff and junk.

        1. Name one “Legacy” item in my list. No I don’t want Dell, I want to be able to keep doing work that I’ve done for decades on Macs. I HAVE 30 TB of hard drives and even need to BOOT from USB because Apple won’t let me fix simple inevitable problems.

          1. I should mention that I noticed the dust on my floppies well before Apple removed them from the first iMacs. Apple did the right thing at that point. But the right direction becomes wrong the instant you go too far.

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